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Want to build the home of your dreams and can’t find enough land for it? Try moving to Tampa. The area has 27,923 building lots, enough to keep homebuilders busy for nine years. That’s assuming anyone actually wants to build something, of course.
According to the Tampa Tribune, under normal circumstances, the area should have just a two-year inventory of housing lots, and builders are struggling.
The only builders having success now, said Jack McCabe, a Florida real estate analyst, are ones that bought lots for fire-sale prices during the downturn. Those builders have a competitive advantage, he said.
Even so, there are thousands of foreclosures and short sales on the market for steep discounts, and new homes often can’t compete on price alone, said McCabe, of McCabe Research & Consulting.
“In most Florida markets, at least 40 percent of the properties listed for sale are distressed,” he said. “It’s really difficult for a builder to construct a home and sell for a profit in an environment where distressed homes dominate the market.”
That’s even better news for would-be buyers, though not necessarily for builders. “There’s nothing on the immediate horizon that would make any builder say, ‘Wow, now is the time to start building,” says McCabe.